Warring Zanu PF factions will have an idea of the fate of three leading figures today amid speculation that beleaguered Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere was taken ill late on Monday night with stress symptoms.
A protester holds a placard calling for the expulsion of Zanu PF political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere during a demonstration in Bindura on Monday
“The self-proclaimed Tyson can’t take media or demo blows, hospitalised BP 180/140,” Zanu PF Gokwe-Nembudziya lawmaker Justice Mayor Wadyajena told his Twitter followers.
While Kasukuwere was not answering his mobile phone yesterday, sources close to him claimed he was “fine”.
“He is fine, he was only taken in for a test – that’s all,” a source close to Kasukuwere said.
However, another source claimed: “He was hospitalised at a private hospital (name withheld) in Harare last night (Monday) because of stress and high blood pressure.”
As conflicting statements over the issue flew around, Kasukuwere was said to have been released early yesterday morning before visiting the same facility again later in the day.
Kasukuwere’s younger brother, Tongai, a senior leader in the Zanu PF youth league, refused to comment, saying: “No comment on anything. It does not benefit me.”
Zanu PF Mashonaland Central provincial chairperson and Kasukuwere’s half-brother, Dickson Mafios, said: “Why would he go to hospital? He is at home and we are not aware of that.”
Mugabe will preside over the ruling party’s politburo today and central committee on Friday, where he is expected to deal with Bulawayo Provincial Affairs minister Eunice Sandi-Moyo and Hurungwe East lawmaker Sarah Mahoka’s disciplinary issues as well as Kasukuwere’s case.
But it is the growing demands for Mugabe to expel Kasukuwere that could dominate.
“This is likely to take centre stage and given that the President has already spoken about it and indicated that it should be brought before the right forum, it means the politburo will likely discuss it,” a source told NewsDay.
The ruling party commissar stands accused of plotting Mugabe’s ouster and creating parallel party structures, the same charges that led to the axing of former Vice-President Joice Mujuru from Zanu PF in 2014.
Ironically, Kasukuwere was among top party officials at the forefront of Mujuru’s unceremonious removal.
Since being appointed Zanu PF political commissar, Kasukuwere has replaced at least nine provincial chairpersons elected at the 2014 congress and suspected of supporting a faction sympathetic to Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The women’s league has already decided that its deputy politburo secretary, Sandi-Moyo, and treasurer, Mahoka, must face disciplinary action.
The politburo will now make a final determination on whether allegations of undermining First Lady Grace and abusing party finances are substantive enough.
Mugabe on Monday said while he was not defending Kasukuwere, he was not happy with the manner in which the issue had been handled.
“If there are wrongs he has done, we have a dignified way of looking at ills and wrongdoings of all of us.
“This noise in the media and demonstrations is not the Zanu way; it was never the way of the party which created us,” Mugabe said while addressing Information minister Christopher Mushowe and describing the picketing as “primitive”.
Political analyst Ibbo Mandaza said the ruling party was taking Zimbabweans for a ride.
“I think Zimbabweans are weary of the cynical way Zanu PF is conducting itself. Nobody understands this party anymore,” he said.
“It is the leadership that is taking us back to the Stone Age and we are tired. We all hope this nightmare will end soon.”